Since the 1992-93 campaign, Dynamo Kyiv and Shakhtar Donetsk have been fighting for supremacy in Ukrainian football as the two clubs have created a duopoly for the Ukrainian Premier League title. According to ua-football – the largest Ukrainian sports media, no other club has been able to get their hands on the coveted trophy with the Kyiv-based side winning the league 16 times whilst Donetsk has done it 13 times.
UEFA Champions League 2021-22 roundup: Are Ukrainian clubs ready to challenge the big giants of European football?
Recently, the clubs have been trying to shift their focus on establishing themselves in Europe against the big giants of world football. Shakhtar won the 2008-09 UEFA Europa League trophy beating multiple European giants in Tottenham Hotspurs, CSKA Moscow, Marseille, rivals Dynamo Kyiv, and Werder Bremen in the final to win their first-ever continental trophy.
But, success at the biggest European stage continues to elude the two giants of Ukrainian football as they are yet to register their first win of the 2021-22 UEFA Champions League campaign.
On the opening day of the Champions League campaign this season, Dynamo Kyiv kept it tight at the back to keep a clean sheet against the threatening Benfica attack whilst Shakhtar Donetsk went down in a 2-0 defeat to Moldovian club Sheriff Tiraspol playing its first ever UCL group stage match. In other results on the night, Young Boys defeated 10-men Manchester United 2-1 whilst Bayern Munich scored 3 goals past a helpless Barcelona defense.
On Matchday 2 of the Champions League campaign, more shocks were in store as Barcelona was defeated 3-0 by Benfica whilst Juventus got a 1-0 win over defending champions Chelsea. Sheriff continued their fairytale run as they defeated Real Madrid 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
On the Ukrainian front, Bayern Munich smashed 5 goals against Dynamo Kyiv with Shakhtar’s veteran goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov enjoying a clean sheet against the potent Inter attack full of superstars like Edin Dzeko, Denzel Dumfries, Lautaro Martinez, Ivan Perisic, Alexis Sanchez, Hakan Calhanoglu, Joaquin Correa, Nicolo Barella, and Marcelo Brozovic.
According to ua-football, on MatchDay 3 and 4, Shakhtar faces a couple of tough tests in the form of 13-times UCL champions Real Madrid which could define their current season in Europe.
On the other hand, Dynamo will face the Barcelona team that has failed to win a single point so far and are direly missing the potency and leadership of Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi who left for Paris St. Germain and Atletico Madrid respectively in the summer transfer window.
With the two Ukrainian footballing giants facing the two Spanish footballing giants over the next two match days, all the eyes will be on these matches. Dynamo and Shakhtar will be more than prepared to face the same fate as every season but Real Madrid and Barcelona are not the same powerhouses they used to be and a shock could be on the cards.